Physico-chemical and bacteriological water quality of Kulfo River

Life on earth would not be conceivable without water, since water is the driven force of nature. Human, plants and animals needs an adequate and safe water supply. Insufficient amount and unsafe quality of water supply is one of the major challenges in the planet, especially in developing countries. At present, near a billion people living in the developing world have no access to adequate and safe water, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. Ethiopia is ranking among the lowest to accessible quantity and quality water supply in Sub-Saharan Africa (UNICEF/, WHO 2012). Currently the Worlds water requirements to various purposes is increasing at an alarming rate in urban areas of both developed and developing countries. The main reasons are increase in urban population growth, increase of urbanization, industrial growth and expansion, agricultural development and increase per-capita water consumption rate. And it will reduce the quality of water in terms of its Physico-chemical and biological characteristics (Ahmad Zaharin et al., 2014). \nAccording to Ethiopia’s Second Growth and Transformation Plan for water supply (GTP-2), (2015/16-2019/20) stated that provide urban access to water supply based on the density of the population served with minimum service level of 100 l/c/day for category-1 , 80 l/c/day for category-2, 60 l/c/day for category-3, 50 l/c/day for category-4, 40l/c/day for category-5 towns or cities within 250m and with a piped system for 75 percent of the urban population (Bank, World, 2017). But, the Arbaminch town is categorized under the category-2; however, the water supply accessibility is still lower than the GTP-2.


Most of the water supplies for domestic purpose in Arbaminch town and its surrounding areas are from underground water source mainly from spring water because of its abundance and no need of excessive treatment. However, nowadays the number of population is rapidly increasing form day year to year and also increase in urbanization and industrialization in the same way the need of safe and adequate water supply is also increased but, the local available water resource of Kulfo River are not utilized in an effective manner to improve the accessibility of water supply and develop the livelihood and socioeconomic standards of the surrounding inhabitants of Limat area. Therefore, In order to meet the water supply and demand of the study area using of available surface water such as Kulfo River as a source of water for drinking purpose after a desirable treatment processes.


The land use land cover around Kulfo river catchment change from time to time due to increase in population in the Urban and rural areas, agricultural expansion and increase in industrial activates and it might be increase the chance of introduction of agricultural and industrial pollutants in to the river water that may affect the human health and environment. So that, to prevent the human health problems analysis of the quality of the water in Kulfo River and propose the water treatment unit required to meet the drinking water quality standard is the most important and priority issue.


Therefore, limat kebelle will be use the available surface water of Kulfo River as a source of water for domestic purpose with appropriate surface water treatment requirement. In general the quality of treated drinking water will be completely free from pathogenic microorganisms, clear, aesthetically attractive, low turbidity and colour and meet within the recommended permissible limit of water quality standards.


General objective


The main objective of study will be to analysis the Physico-chemical and bacteriological water quality status of Kulfo River for drinking purpose and select location of WTP and propose the level of water treatment required.
The Specific Objective of the study will be:

  1. To assess the present water quality status of Kulfo River, through analysis of some selected Drinking water quality parameters like pH, EC, TDS, Turbidity, TH, DO, Nitrate, Na+, Mg2+, Ca2+, K+, Cl-, HCO3-, SO42-, Fluoride Iron and Total coliform and compare the results with the WHO and Ethiopian drinking water quality standards.
  2. To assess the quantity of river flow and estimate the total water demand of the study area
  3. To select suitable raw water reservoir and WTP location and propose the water treatment plant required to meet the permissible limit of Ethiopian drinking water quality standards.

Research Question


The principal research question that will be attempted address are:

  1. 1) Do the drinking water quality parameters of Kulfo River fit the guidelines set in the WHO standard and that of the Ethiopian recommended guideline?
  2. 2) How much water is flowing annually in Kulfo River which is the maximum and minimum and mean water flow and the water demand?
  3. 3) Where is the raw water reservoir and Water treatment plant located?
  4. 4) What type of water treatment unit is required to make the raw water safe for drinking?

Scope of the study


This research will be mainly focused on the analysis the physico-chemical and bacteriological water quality status of Kulfo River for drinking purpose and select location of WTP and propose the level of water treatment required. The selected parameters will be pH, EC, TDS, Turbidity, TH, D.O, Nitrate, Na+, Mg2+, Ca2+, K+, Cl-, HCO3-, SO42-, Fluoride, Iron and Total coliform. This study will also be assess the quantity of river flow and estimate the total water demand Limat kebelle and select suitable raw water reservoir and WTP location using GIS and MCDA and propose the water treatment plant required to meet the permissible limit of Ethiopian drinking water quality standards.